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A girl and her love of indoor plants

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MARCH 03, 2023

Some may say 21 plants may be too many, some might say it’s not enough. I think it’s just right.

I know my love and admiration for my indoor plants is not unique, but my plants are — they communicate with me. 

I notice when they’re sad, when my chest begins to tighten with apprehension as I see their leaves drooping or paling yellow. I can tell when they’re happy and I feel the rush of satisfaction run through my body, noticing a sprouting leaf, indicating I did something right.

My interest in foliage began with a trip to IKEA, where I found Gertrude, a Peperomia Obtusifolia plant held in a baby blue pot. Though my interest in Gertrude emerged quite spontaneously, my love and care remained consistent for her. My first winter break, in fear of potentially losing Gertrude over the lengthy break, she tagged along on an 1,800-mile road trip to Forks, Washington, all the way back to Los Angeles. 

Four years later, Gertrude still receives my constant vigilance and attentiveness. 

Since Gertrude, my plant collection has expanded and even shrunk at times. From varied pothos species, pilea peperomioides, succulents, monsteras to spider plants, each plant has sneakily found their way into my heart. 

From my first dorm room, to my childhood bedroom, and to my current apartment, my home has been filled with life and warmth with every plant. 

As I’ve gradually fostered a connection with all 21 of my plants tending to them, routinely transporting them from Southern California to the north, they’ve slowly nurtured me and the spaces I live in. 

On days I feel lonely or the moments I feel inevitably directionless, looking at my plants I am filled with a sense of purpose. Even if my purpose is as small as knowing when and how to water each plant, or plucking away yellow leaves or repotting plants when they get too large, it serves as a great source of pride and happiness. 

As silly as it sounds, I might depend on my plants more than they depend on me. My plants offer me connection, they have taught me to be more patient and they provide me with quiet company. 

While I dedicate thorough time maintaining my greenery, my plants do the same for me, as they nourish me and magically make anyplace home regardless of where I am.

Contact Madison Creekbaum at [email protected].

MARCH 03, 2023